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22.09.2007 21:41

Norman Foster: “It’s a personal challenge”

Jordi Clos

The person chosen to carry out the remodelling of the Camp Nou explained the main points of the project to guests at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening.

The Paris Room was packed to hear Lord Norman Foster describe the main features of the new-look Camp Nou. The founder of the world-famous architectural firm of Foster + Partners described the project as “a personal challenge” and promised he would dedicate himself totally to carrying it out.

“An inspiration”

Lord Norman Foster began his speech with the following words: “It’s a joy, an honour and an inspiration to be here, and inspiration is inseparable from design. If I want to describe a design, I can only start by describing an inspiration”. He went on to reveal that his inspiration for the project has three foundation stones: the Club, the stadium and the country.

The existing stadium

QM3D8990.jpgFoster then described some of the fundamental assumptions of the project: “The work and functioning of the Club cannot be interrupted. Another essential characteristic is the decision to do it without destruction. We will work without tools that can obstruct the spectators’ view. We will respect the concrete structure because it’s familiar to the whole world. The existing stadium is our starting point”.

Exterior expression

One of the defining characteristics of the new Camp Nou will be the exterior surfaces, which will combine the blue and red of the Barça colours with the colours of the Catalan flag. Norman Foster told the guests: “It gives some dramatic effects at night and some beautiful colours during the day”. He also acknowledged the influence of Antoni Gaudí. He finished his speech by announcing: “This is the beginning of the association and cooperation with FC Barcelona”.

Laporta grateful

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta then addressed the Paris Room. He thanked all the architects that had presented projects, the people involved in the selection process, the College of Architects of Catalonia and the Barcelona Town Council. “We’re all very happy with the way the competition has been held. There has been a lot of debate but it’s an example of how we are able to work in this country”.

The excellence of the project

Laporta stated that the Board of Directors is “convinced of the excellence of the project”. The president, who praised the high standard of the work done by Catalan architects, was full of praise for the project: “It will be an architectural reference point on a world scale. He won against tough competition and with the consensus of the jury, of the technical commission and the civic commission”.

A leap forward

QM3D9003.jpg“The Camp Nou is an architectural jewel that was ahead of its time and is now being projected into the future. It’s a leap forward”. Joan Laporta also revealed what had decided the Club in favour of the project presented by Norman Foster: “He is very respectful to Mitjans’ original project, to the Catalan architectural tradition and to the spirit of sport”. The president then thanked Norman Foster for his commitment and declared himself delighted with the future stadium: “It will create a footballing atmosphere and is passionate but civic. We’ll play with 12 men”.

A call for unity

To finish, Laporta called for the support of the people living near the stadium: “This project is already known around the world, putting Barcelona and Catalonia on the map around the world. We’re aware of this and we’re proud of it. We all have to be united”.

Click here to access the interview with Norman Foster at www.fcbarcelona.cat

Norman Foster: “It’s a personal challenge”
The best choice
The first person to speak on Saturday evening was the Dean of the College of Architects of Catalonia, Jordi Ludevid: “Barça has made a firm choice for professionalism, rigour and transparency”. He applauded the choice of Norman Foster and described him as: “A close colleague. He’s European, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a friend of Barcelona”.

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